Lot n° 209
4000 - 5000 EUR
STENDHAL Henri Beyle (1783-1842)
L.A.S. "H. Beyle", Brunswick October 3, 1807, to François PÉRIERLAGRANGE in Grenoble; 3 pages and a quarter in-4, address with postmark of the Grande Armée.
Long and beautiful letter about his money worries, while he is in Germany with the Grande Armée, assistant to the war commissioner Martial Daru.
[His friend Francois Périer-Lagrange (1770-1816) will marry the following year Pauline Beyle, Stendhal's beloved sister].
Regarding his expenditure, "If my father wants to give me a hundred louis or a thousand écus a year, I give my word that I won't ask for more. I am asked for 41ll of a pair of boots, if I pay right away I will pay 3ll and I have the boots for 38ll. If I pay at the end of 3 months I give 41ll and 30s of new boots. Same for everything". Then he justifies his need of 250 pounds a month : "A huge job and looking like he's not working, being from all parts of Mr D. DARU] and to receive at my home all the comrades who pass by, to be on my feet day and night and every week to travel at least 40 leagues, the horses cost me nothing of course, but the food, but an immense amount of clothes which wear out. All this for 200F of treatment and 125ll of office expenses, always 2 months in arrears. I have had 2 secretaries for 8 days, and here are 3 nights that I have spent working with them, having been forced to go hunting during the day with Mal [Martial]'s brother-in-law who has been here, and for 45ll of office supplies and for 13 or 14ll of service letters that people who think I am an authority forget to stamp. Here, my best friend, is a slight sketch of my finances".
He gives instructions for the sending of the money by his father, from whom he will not ask for anything more: "I will even decrease this as soon as I am a simple adj[oin]t to the Com[missai]re des Guerres for the app[oin]ts as I am for the expense. Communicate my letter to my grandfather and try to get me to be accurate in my payments. When this boring matter is over, I'll tell you that I'm dying of tiredness"...
He hopes to become a war commissioner, but "I won't be one anytime soon, it seems to me. Mr D [aru] is staying in Prussia this winter.
I don't think we're giving Berlin or Silesia back to that ninny named
Friederick III. The provinces don't pay. Try to put my father's machine in order. ...] You're right, I serve, but my character deviates devilishly from the role I play. I would leave it one day if I had a little good, but I'm afraid that speculation will eat the fund as well as the income. You exorcising me to marry proves to me that I have bread for two. If the family asks me, what do you have to say to that? A few debts, 200 francs a month, and a speculative father who promises and gives nothing. You see that I would be turned away. You have to wait until my position is a little brighter. I assure you, I'm hardly happy. The present is painful and the future cloudy. Farewell, love me always, you'll save me from the storm"...
Correspondance générale, t. I, n° 292 (p. 619)
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